SXSW Cares Fund Continues to Help Victims of Last Year’s Tragedy

On March 13, 2014 a drunk driver plowed through a crowd during the SXSW music festival, killing four festival-goers and injuring more than a dozen others. Later that day, the Austin Community Foundation was asked to open the SXSW Cares Fund to receive the outpouring of donations from people and companies wishing to help the victims. More than $250,000 was donated to the SXSW Cares Fund by individuals and companies locally, nationally and from around the world, aided by social media, national publicity and the festival’s wide appeal.

The Foundation immediately provided funds directly to victims of the tragedy and their families, working with the Austin Police Department Office of Victims Services. Funds have been provided for a variety of expenses not covered by other crime victims resources, such as: funeral expenses, basic needs (rent, utilities, food), travel expenses for family of victims, expenses related to hospital stays, tools of the trade, lost wages, medical bills and other related expenses.

To date, 22 victims of the tragedy have received nearly $80,000. The Foundation has responded to every request it has received from victims and continues to provide funds to victims and their families. One year later, as the individuals and their families most affected by the tragedy engage in long-term recovery from their injuries and loss, the Foundation is committed to preserving the SXSW Cares Fund for their future needs.